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on the fate of europe's economies. there are plenty that want to and the stranglehold of the big three. >> is not good when the entire world is being governed by three american companies. it would be better if there were more competition. and i would be very keen to see european and asian agencies as well. the situation as it is now is not healthy and we must put and intellect. -- an end to it. >> european lawmakers helped create that unhealthy situation. the european union strengthen the role of credit agencies when it adopted the international banking agreement. the question the wisdom of that move. he helped lay the foundation for the single european currency while at the european commission. he is analyzing the efforts to save the ural -- euro. >> if they are a minimum requirement, the agencies would not be so powerful. >> they are supposed to make the banking system more stable. somehow the people that rate it see things? a small independent ratings agency believes the government should enact increased competition. >> the problem have right now is the regulatory framework lead to
in the senate for us. how does austerity look for ordinary italians? >> the big weakness of this budget is it puts off some many of the cuts and tax increases until 2013, 2014. that is not coincidental. there is a general election in june 2013. all of this will have to be done by the next government. in the meantime, there is going to be a gaming tax, increased health charges, cuts in pensions, but only for the highest pensions -- and in italy, pensions are pretty generous. this is not a budget which in the short-term is going to lead anybody into destitution. >> in other news, syrian pro- democracy activists say government forces have killed at least nine people as protests against the president continue. reports indicate the military crackdown on opposition activists in damascus and hana. police have arrested members of opposition supporters. non-governmental organizations say at least 1600 people have been killed since the uprising began four months ago. 13 turkish soldiers have been killed in an attack in the southeast of the country. officials say kurdish militants ambushed troops.
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